This post features my delicious gluten-free pumpkin squares recipe (also known as pumpkin bars) and contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
I’m excited to share my new and improved gluten-free pumpkin squares (or pumpkin bars) recipe with you because it’s the quintessential fall dessert.
This dessert will unite your gluten-free and gluten-eating friends because it’s good!
You’ll find that these gluten-free pumpkin bars are light and cakey and channel wonderful fall flavors. So, without delay, let me walk you through how to make this incredibly easy fall dessert.
How to Make Gluten-Free Pumpkin Squares
You’ll need a few key ingredients to make these gluten-free pumpkin squares. It’s pretty simple, but let me walk you through it all.
First, you need a good gluten-free flour blend. I have used several gluten-free flour blends to make these pumpkin squares and found many work well. This recipe is hard to mess up!
Make sure whatever flour blend you use includes xanthan gum. If not, add one tablespoon of it to your batter.
Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 gluten-free flour blend is my preferred gluten-free flour blend. It is a cup-for-cup gluten-free flour substitute for wheat flour and rarely lets me down.
For the pumpkin square batter, you’ll need the following:
- Oil (I like this avocado oil)
- Canned pumpkin puree
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Kosher salt
After preheating your oven to 350º F, combine the eggs, sugar, oil, and pumpkin in a large bowl and whisk it together.
Then, combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, including the gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Give it a whisk with a fork.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk everything together by hand or using your standing or handheld mixer. The batter will be quite liquidy, and that’s normal.
Pour the batter into TWO well-greased 9″ x 13″ baking pans (use metal pans, ok, if available). I use Pam cooking spray for the best results.
Bake the two pans for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Once cooked, allow the cakes to cool completely before adding the cream cheese frosting; otherwise, the frosting will melt off.
Once cooled, prepare the cream cheese frosting by combining all the frosting ingredients in a large bowl. You’ll need the following ingredients:
- Cream cheese
- Vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar
Using your standing or handheld mixer, blend the mixture on medium-high speed until it’s well-blended, light, and fluffy.
Take a look at this beautiful white silky smooth frosting. I bet you wish you could lick the spoon right now!
Once the cakes are completely cooled (preferably on a wire rack), evenly spread the cheesecake frosting atop the cakes. The process will be much easier if you have an icing spatula like this. If not, just use a butter knife.
You can either chill the cakes in your fridge to allow the frosting to set or dig right in and cut each cake into 12 squares. Enjoy!
Store leftover pumpkin squares in the fridge in a covered container.
They Taste as Good as They Look
It’s one thing to make a pretty dessert, but these gluten-free pumpkin squares taste oh-so-delicious, too. I like to say they taste as good as they look!
The cake portion is bursting with pumpkin and moisture. It’s like biting into a soft pillow flavored with cinnamon spice. You will love the spongy texture.
The frosting on top is sweet and creamy and just completes this beautiful masterpiece.
And, of course, I couldn’t have done it without the beautiful gluten-free flour blends that are readily available to our community online and in grocery stores.
Don’t bother mixing your own gluten-free flours and starches. There are already many great blends abound, all ready for you to use to whip up a sweet gluten-free treat.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. If you do, please leave me a comment to let me know how they turned out!
Substitutions and FAQs
This recipe has been around for a while and, over time, has amassed a bunch of questions. I will attempt to answer them all below:
Can I use a different gluten-free flour blend? As mentioned previously, you can use most store-bought gluten-free flour blends. Look for ones that say measure-for-measure, cup-for-cup, or 1-to-1. Ensure your mix also contains xanthan gum; add 1 tbsp if not. Without xanthan gum, the pumpkin squares will crumble.
How do I make this dairy-free? The spongy pumpkin cake itself is already dairy-free. But the cream cheese topping is not. If you can find dairy-free cream cheese, go ahead and use that. If not, I recommend making a buttercream using dairy-free butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and dairy-free milk.
Be sure to use pumpkin puree. Make sure you use canned pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie mix. They are very different ingredients.
What kind of pan should I use? I mainly use 9×13″ metal pans, but I used a ceramic pan for this recipe because it looked pretty. A metal pan is always preferable. You could also use a large, wide-rimmed baking sheet. Be sure to grease any pan well. Pam cooking spray is my preferred greasing agent.
How do I make this egg-free? I get this question a lot; unfortunately, I haven’t tested this recipe without eggs. Eggs help give these pumpkin bars rise and moisture. You could always try using an egg replacer or flax egg. (One flax egg is one tablespoon of flaxseed meal + three tablespoons of warm water. Mix the flax and water. Leave the mixture for five minutes to gel before adding it to your recipe.)
Allow the cakes to cool fully. If you find the cream cheese frosting is a hot mess, it might be because you frosted it too soon. The cakes should be thoroughly cool before frosting. Placing the cakes in the fridge will help them cool faster.
How do I store leftover pumpkin bars? Store leftovers in a sealed container in your fridge.
Related Articles and Recipes
You might enjoy these articles and recipes, too:
- 16 Incredibly Easy Gluten-Free Pumpkin Recipes
- Easy Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
- Ultra-Chewy Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies
- Trader Joe’s Adds Gluten-Free Pumpkin Ravioli
- Homemade Gluten-Free Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage Butter Sauce
- 10 Irresistible Gluten-Free Pumpkin Products at Trader Joe’s (2023)
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Squares (Bars)
- 2 9"x 13" cake pans
Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients
- 8 oz cream cheese softened at room temperature
- 1/2 cup butter softened at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350° F and grease TWO 9×13" baking pans with Pam cooking spray.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Whisk with a fork and set aside.
- In a second bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin puree. Whisk the ingredients together until well combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined. The batter will be liquidy.
- Pour the batter (divided evenly) into the two prepared baking pans and bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool completely before adding the frosting.
- To make the cream cheese frosting, beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and sugar together until smooth. Spread the frosting evenly atop the pumpkin cakes before cutting them into 12 squares per pan.